Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Roman Road of Salvation

The Gospel (Good News) is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” -1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Below is another handout I’ve used for church and student groups. It is simple, and hopefully plain. It briefly presents the story, the plan of salvation. How a person can be forgiven of their sins, be made right with God, and have eternal life here and throughout eternity in Heaven. It is called the Roman Road Plan of Salvation because all the Bible verses are in the book of Romans.

There are several reasons to present the Roman Road here.

First, we need to know it and be reminded of it.

Second, preachers and church workers need to know how to present the plan of salvation to someone.

Third, some may want to copy and use this handout with both those who need to know Jesus as their Savior, and with believers so they can be more grounded in their faith.

Fourth, the Roman Road is one way of presenting the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus. But it can be shortened, lengthened, and adapted to present the Gospel in a specific situation, to a particular person.

Fifth, someone may be reading this that does not know what the Bible teaches about God’s love, our sin, and God’s salvation. The greatest thing you can ever do is to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, believe in Him, and trust Him as your Lord and Savior.

I occasionally hear someone say, “A prayer will not save you.” I strongly disagree. If a person believes what is presented below, prays the prayer of salvation or one similar to it, and means it in their heart, they will be saved. We have God’s Word on it.

If they mean that just reciting a prayer, without understanding or meaning it, will not save you, then I can agree. But if you sincerely pray, your sins will be forgiven and you will be made a child of God.

By the way, one result of the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC is that conservative trustees led LifeWay into including the plan of salvation in most all of their literature. It is usually found on the inside front or back cover of their periodicals. That was a great, important decision.

The Roman Road of Salvation

1. We have a problem, we’re all sinners and God is a holy God.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

2. The Bible teaches that payment for sin is death, separation from God. But God has a gift He wants to give you. For a gift to be yours, however, you have to accept it.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

3. God loves us in spite of our sin. He wants us to be made right with Him. God the Son, Jesus, died for our sins, shed His blood on the cross, so we could be forgiven. Eternal life is a free gift to us, but cost Jesus his life.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

4. What do you need to do? Admit your sins, trust in Jesus, ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart and be your Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth the Lord* Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (* The word “Lord” means about the same as “Boss.”)
Romans 10:13 “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (New King James Version of the Bible)

5. Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that You died to save me. I believe that You rose from the dead and are living today. Please forgive me of all my sins. Come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I ask this in Jesus’ name Amen.

After you trust Jesus: Find a good Bible believing church and go every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night; get baptized; read a chapter in the Bible every day, start in John or Luke; pray each day; tell others about Jesus.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 29, AD 2010.

Related Article:
Saved by the Sinner's Prayer

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why Wait?

Every now and then at church, or for a student group, I prepare a half page handout to go along with the message. One of these brief handouts is below. Hopefully it can be of help to some.

Too often churches and parents are silent about reasons to wait until marriage to have sex. Too often teenagers and adults do not know the reasons to wait, or they need to be reminded of them.

Why Wait?

Reasons to wait until marriage to have sex.

1. Sex is a gift from God and He only intended it between the marriage of one man and one woman. (Mark 10:6-9)

2. Having sex with a person creates a kind of “oneness” that God intended only for marriage. (1 Corinthians 6:16)

3. To have a clean conscience and no worries. Don’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pregnancy, or the embarrassment of seeing former boyfriends, girlfriends, at school, church, work. Abstinence is the only 100% reliable method of prevention of STDs and pregnancy.

4. To test the commitment of the other person. Some promise marriage just to get sex.

5. You cannot grow as a Christian if you are having sex outside of marriage.

6. To be clearheaded when you are making important decisions, especially about dating and marriage.

7. To increase your chance of a happy, lasting marriage. People who have sex before marriage and those who live together before marriage have a higher rate of divorce.

8. To avoid the heartbreak, regret, and anger that sex outside of marriage brings. Many people regret it. They feel used and worthless because they gave away something precious.

When we sin, if we confess our sin to God, He promises to forgive (1 John 1:9). But He does not promise to take away the consequences of our sin. As one young woman told Josh McDowell, “Yes, God forgives, but the scars remain.” God’s plan A is don’t sin; His plan B is if we sin He still loves us and is willing to forgive (1 John 2:1).

Stay away from tempting situations.
Flee sexual immorality. -1 Corinthians 6:18.

Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. -Proverbs 6:32-33

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 19, AD 2010.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Charles H. Spurgeon on Alcohol

“I hope they will be full of spirit against evil spirits, stout against stout, and hale against ale.”
-Charles H. Spurgeon, letter to temperance society, March 19, 1884.

Occasionally you hear someone defending social drinking by using Charles Haddon Spurgeon (AD 1834-1892) as an example. Or as an excuse. If the great Baptist preacher of London did not believe in abstinence from beverage alcohol, then it must be alright for us to drink.

Contrary to this view, we should follow biblical teaching and the common sense God gave us. Some will be surprised, however, to see what Spurgeon came to believe about the recreational use of the drug alcohol.

In his early years, Charles Haddon Spurgeon disagreed with those who preached abstinence from alcohol. But as time went by, the temperance advocates (those who promoted total abstinence from beverage alcohol), convinced Spurgeon; or maybe the Holy Spirit convinced him. Spurgeon actually became a temperance advocate. Temperance meetings were held in Spurgeon’s church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

In 1882 Spurgeon would boldly declare, “Next to the preaching of the Gospel, the most necessary thing to be done in England is to induce our people to become abstainers.” I’m strongly against drinking, but I’m not even sure that I would go as far as Spurgeon, with his above statement.

Dr. Lewis Drummond stated of Spurgeon, “Obviously he had become a strong advocate for abstinence.”

The two above quotes are from Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Dr. Lewis A. Drummond, Foreword by Carl F. H. Henry, Kregel Publications; 1992. Dr. Drummond was a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a result of the SBC Conservative Resurgence, Drummond was the first conservative president of SEBTS.

Charles Spurgeon also spoke to the issue of Communion Wine stating that his church used only unfermented wine.

“We use Frank Wright’s unfermented wine at the Tabernacle, and have never used any other unfermented wine. I am given to understand that some of the so-called unfermented wine has in it a considerable amount of alcohol; but Mr. Wright’s is the pure juice of the grape. One person advertised his wine as used at the Tabernacle though we had never used it even on one occasion. So far as we are concerned, we use no wine but that produced by Messrs. Frank Wright, Mundy, and Co.
Yours truly, C. H. SPURGEON.” -Westwood, June 20, 1887.
(www.godrules.net/library/spurgeon/NEW8spurgeon_d12.htm; accessed 4-12-2010)

Notice that Spurgeon calls this pure juice of the grape “unfermented wine.” Some erroneously say there is no such thing, that all “wine” is fermented. Spurgeon, Aristotle, Nicander, Horace, Pliny, Polybius, Cato, Plutarch, and others would disagree.

Next time you hear someone say Spurgeon was for social drinking, tell them the rest of the story. Charles H. Spurgeon became a strong advocate of total abstinence from alcohol.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 12, AD 2010.

Note:  You may also be interested in Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times, and other articles under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels) in the bottom right margin. 
Deuteronomy 14:26 - Does it Commend Alcohol?
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Israel, May They Prosper Who Love You

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. -Psalm 122:6

Some Christians today say we should not support the Jews or Israel. Incredibly, some say the Israelis are no different than the terrorists they fight.

Israelis and the terrorists they fight, however, are no more equivalent than the USA and the terrorists we fight. We are not always right, but we are assuredly more right than those we oppose.

* Israel does not send suicide bombers, including children, to blow up innocent people.
* Israeli soldiers do not hide in, and shoot from, the homes of innocents and force the other side to fire on them there.
* They do not use women and children as shields during battle.
* Israel has many Arabs living within the borders of Israel proper. They live there in relative peace and security, and prosper. They are Israeli citizens. On the other hand, when Israel pulled out of Gaza they had to evacuate all the Jews, or they would have been murdered by the militants.
* Israel is a democracy, surrounded by dictatorships.
* Israel has a tiny sliver of land; the Arabs have incredible amounts of territory compared to Israel.

The answer to both sides is personal faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior. I’m all for sending missionaries to both sides. There are certainly good and bad in every race. There are wonderful Jewish Christians, and wonderful Arab Christians. I do not believe all Palestinians, all Arabs, or all Muslims are terrorists. But I certainly oppose those who are. Recently it has come to light that some Arabs protected Jews during Nazi control of North Africa and the Middle East; God bless them.

Israel is not always right, and we should oppose them when they are wrong. Don’t blindly support them, or us. But be sure about the facts, before you speak up and oppose the Israelis.

It has been asked how exactly can Christians support Israel. How can we keep our support for Israel from just being a platitude? Good question.

Ways We Can Be Supportive of Israel1. Pray for them, their safety, their security. They live in an entirely different world than we do and while they have a tenuous treaty or two, they are basically surrounded by enemies. Enemy tanks could roll across their entire country in much less than a day. They have to always be on guard. Get a Middle East map and see the size of their country as compared to the surrounding nations and the Arab and Muslim controlled lands.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” -Psalm 122:6

2. Pray for their salvation.

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” -Romans 10:1

3. Support them by voting for candidates that support our aid to, and our friendship with Israel. Support their right to exist and defend themselves.

I believe God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 12:3 is still true, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” One of the reasons God has blessed America is we have blessed His chosen people.

4. Encourage people to go visit Israel as tourists. It helps their economy; tourism is one of their biggest sources of income. You will also learn more about the modern day country of Israel and the difficulties they face. You will come to love the Holy Land as never before.

5. Speak up for the Jews, Israel, and against anti-Semitism. Teach what the Bible teaches about them. Remember everything about Christianity comes from the Jews and their faith.

“In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” -Genesis 12:3

6. Some Christians support Israel in other financial ways.

7. Support trade with Israel. When you have a chance, buy what is produced in Israel.

We should love, pray for, and witness to all people. But God’s chosen people are still special.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 6, AD 2010.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter, Christianity, and the Resurrection

The Gospel (Good News) is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” -1 Corinthians 15:3-4; The Bible


Did Jesus really die for our sins and rise from the dead on the third day? Yes! He really, physically, literally, bodily, rose from the dead and is living today.

Easter is special, but really every time followers of Jesus worship on Sunday it is in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sunday is sometimes called the Christian Sabbath or the Lord’s Day.

We see from the following verses that the Christians began to worship on Sunday:

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” -John 20:19-21

And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!” -John 20:26

On the first day of the week, Peter preached his sermon on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 souls were saved.

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. -Acts 20:7-8
(As a preacher who still has Sunday Evening Worship Services, I can’t help but point out that John 20:19-21 and Acts 20:7-8 refer to Sunday Evening gatherings.)

On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. -1 Corinthians 16:2

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet. -Revelation 1:10

The early church was composed of Jewish believers in Jesus as their Messiah, their Savior. They had always worshipped on Saturday, the 7th Day. Why in the world would they change? It would have taken an incredible event. And it did. The incredible miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What did the early church do? The church soon after New Testament times? They also worshipped on the first day of the week.

Barnabas, AD 120 - “We keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose from the dead.”

Justin Martyr, c. AD 165 - “But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our communion assembly because Jesus Christ, our Saviour, on the same day arose from the dead.”

Bardesones of Odessa, Asia, AD 180 - “On one day, the first day of the week, we assemble ourselves together.”

Clement of Alexandria, AD 194 - “He, in fulfillment of the precept, according to the gospel, keeps the Lord’s day, when he abandons an evil disposition…glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself.”

Tertullian in Africa, Bishop of Carthage, AD 200 - “We solemnize the day after Saturday in contradiction to those who call this day their Sabbath.”

Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Africa, AD 250 - “The eighth day, that is, the first day after the Sabbath, and the Lord’s day.”

Apostolic Constitution, AD 250 - “On the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day meet more diligently.”

A man told a preacher, “The Christian religion is no big deal. It would be easy to start a religion like that.”
The preacher replied, “Oh yes. You would only have to get crucified and rise again the third day.”

And that is exactly what Jesus did.

Believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior. Follow Him. And Easter and the Resurrection will have meaning as never before. Jesus loves you. He is the way to forgiveness, salvation, resurrection, and everlasting life. Jesus gave His all to you; give your heart and life to Him.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” -John 11:25.

Reference: R. G. Lee.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 1, AD 2010.